Pistons’ Free Agent Mini-Camp Provide Low Risk Options
The Detroit Pistons held a free agent mini-camp Tuesday through Thursday. At the camp was a variety of players. Many had NBA experience, but some players were from overseas. The positions also varied, as Detroit had at least one player from each position present at the camp.
Here is the full list of players that attended the camp:
PG: Phil Pressey
SG/SF: Jaron Johnson
PG: Bobby Brown
PF: Greg Whittington
SG/PG: Jordan Crawford
PG: Nick Minnerath
PF: Kadeem Jack
SF/SG: Chris Douglas-Roberts
PG: Deonte Burton
PF: Grant Jerrett
PF/C: Cory Jefferson
C: Derrick Nix
PF: Ousmane Drame
C: Eric Buckner
PF: Richard Solomon
C: Gabe Olaseni
At the camp, there were some intriguing names that the Pistons should look into potentially signing.
Chris Douglas-Roberts SF/SG: A six-year NBA veteran, Chris Douglas Roberts is a different type of wing option for the Pistons. He will not bring any long-range shooting capabilities to Detroit, but brings many other unique abilities. He is very versatile. He is a 6’7 wing, that in a pinch, could also likely play point guard.
“From what I hear – they need some wings who can play in the pick and roll, aggressive to score. Douglas-Roberts to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com
Douglas Roberts is right, Detroit could definitely use another second unit wing that can score. Reggie Bullock played well when called upon last season, but was not someone who you could rely on for scoring. Bullock was more of a catch and shoot proprietor. Darrun Hilliard was also mainly a spot up three-point shooter. Stanley Johnson was the only second unit wing that could score on his own, but struggled to do so consistently throughout his rookie year. He is also a good and lengthy defender. Douglas-Roberts is a Detroit native. A wing player may be one of the lesser priorities, but Douglas-Roberts provides much more than the traditional wing.
Phil Pressey PG: The Pistons are in dire need of a backup point guard. With Steve Blake becoming a free agent, and not being a priority to re-sign, Detroit will have the challenge of finding a replacement. Detroit has two other point guards on the roster besides Reggie Jackson. Lorenzo Brown and Spencer Dinwiddie both have team options for the upcoming season, and it seems more and more likely that neither of them will have their options picked up. Speculation is that if either of their options are picked up, it would be Dinwiddie’s.
Pressey has played three seasons in the NBA, after going undrafted out of the University of Missouri. Pressey has career averages of 3.2 points, 2.9 assists, and 13.6 minutes per game. He played for both the Philadelphia 76ers and the Phoenix Suns last season.
The stats do not jump out at you, but Pressey’s style of play would be perfect for the Pistons. Detroit’s 2nd unit next year should be a better scoring bunch with Stanley Johnson going into his second year in the league, Aron Baynes have a great last few months of the season, and both Reggie Bullock and Jodie Meeks finished the season strong. Pressey would fit the second unit just right, with his ability to facilitate on the floor. He would be able to run the pick and roll with Baynes well, and his quickness allows him to attack the basket well, forcing defenders to collapse on him. When the defenders collapse, he is a crafty enough passer to kick it out to the open shooter. He also has some potential as a spot up three-point shooter. He is not the type of player to put the ball on the floor and pull up for a three, but if he is open, he is a threat when he is spotting up. He told Pistons.com’s Keith Langlois the following:
“That’s one of the main reasons why I came in here,” Pressey said Wednesday, the second day of the camp. “I know there’s an opportunity for me to get that spot and hopefully I can come out here, show the GM and the coaching staff that I want to be a part of this organization. I know they have a good organization and they’re headed in the right direction. I just want to be able to be a part of it and show ’em what I can do.”
Pressey certainly has a chance to make the Pistons’ roster. Stan Van Gundy would be smart to consider him for the backup point guard position.
Jordan Crawford SG/PG: If the Pistons were to sign a player that worked out for them this week, it should be Jordan Crawford.
Crawford has played four seasons in the NBA. He’s played for the Washington Wizards, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, and Golden State Warriors. He holds career averages of 12.2 points, 3.2 assists, and 2.6 rebounds per game. His best season was in 2012 when he averaged 14 points and 3 assists per game with the Washington Wizards. In Crawford’s last NBA game, he scored 41 points for the Golden State Warriors.
Crawford scored 72 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in a game over in China earlier in the year. He shot 25-52 from the field.
The Pistons desperately need scoring help off the bench, even though it should be better by next season due to reasons stated above in the Phil Pressey section. Crawford would bring immediate help to that area. He can play the combo guard, something that Stan Van Gundy is coveting entering the offseason. He is looking for a backup point guard that can play alongside Reggie Jackson as well. Jordan Crawford could very well be that man. He can score inside and makes the defense stay honest from beyond the arc. He is a crafty ball handler as well and did a good job of limiting turnovers when he played in the NBA. With the Boston Celtics in 2014, Crawford averaged 2.2 turnovers per game in 30.7 minutes. Reggie Jackson averaged 2.8 turnovers per game last season in 30.7 minutes per game.
Jordan Crawford was the most enticing free agent at the mini-camp, and the Pistons should sign him for backcourt help.
These free agent options for Detroit are cheap and low risk. These players could fulfill a solid role for the Pistons, and help them continue to become one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.
Featured image via: Getty Images